Young Politicians from France Visit Ziv Medical Center

14/1/2015

In the shadow of the terrorist attacks which took place in France, the organization "The Face of Israel" organized a visit of young French politicians who are currently touring Israel, to the Ziv Medical Center , in order to learn about the humanitarian life saving treatment the hospital provides to casualties of the civil war raging in Syria.

Among the participants of the group were representatives of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), the party of former President Nicolas Sarkozy and representatives from the Union Nationale Interuniversitaire (UNI), which is affiliated with the French center-right wing party UMP.

The group was accompanied by Dr. Raphael Fadida, a resident physician in Ziv's Surgical Department, who immigrated to Israel from France 14 years ago.

Conversation with the young politicians naturally broached the subject of the attack on the Jewish supermarket and the impressive solidarity demonstration in France. The visitors raised questions regarding the treatment of Syrian patients at Ziv in light of the terrorist attacks, the attitude towards the Jewish community in France and also personal observations.

Dr. Fadida told the members of the delegation that prior to his Aliyah to Israel, as far back as 15-20 years, when he was a young adult in the Jewish community in Paris, he, his friends and family experienced verbal and physical abuse which accelerated their decision to move to Israel. Dr. Fadida added that his family members who remained in France, report that the situation today is far worse than it used to be and members of the Jewish community have hard feelings following recent events.

Mr. Olivier Vial, President of UNI remarked that in France people are shocked by recent events. "The country was not prepared for a terrorist attack. We must now learn from these difficult events and take the necessary steps to ensure that such events will not occur again. Israel is attacked regularly by Islamic terrorism and we need to express our solidarity with her, cooperate in the fight against terror and learn from Israel's vast experience how to improve our security precautions and react to terror events. We know that it's very difficult for Jews in France and we need to do everything possible to ensure their safety" said Vial. He added that he and his colleagues in the delegation support Israel and came on this trip to learn more about Israel first hand and not only from what they hear in the French and foreign media.
"We hope that those who are not party to our political stand regarding Israel, will also have a better understanding of what Israel faces on a daily basis. We have been to Ariel, where we visited a factory in which Israelis and Palestinians work side by side, here co-existence is real not only a slogan. Today we are at the Ziv Medical Center and see how the State of Israel is treating Syrian casualties. Unfortunately the media in France prefers not to expose these wonderful sides of Israel. I think that treating the wounded Syrians is important for the future of the area. I am not aware of any country which treats their enemies with such care and dignity and am convinced that if the situation was reversed, Israel would not receive such treatment from her neighbors" Vial said.

During the visit at Ziv, Dr. Raphael Fadida spoke to the delegates about the multi cultural and religious diversity of both the staff and the patients of Ziv, where Jews, Moslems and Christians work side by side and also about the treatment Ziv has given to 437 severely wounded Syrians. They visited a number of Syrian patients who are currently hospitalized, including 2 children.

Members of the French delegation were deeply impressed by the professional and humanitarian treatment of the Syrian casualties and spoke to the Syrians asking about themselves and the civil war in Syria. They were especially moved when they asked a Syrian adolescent, hospitalized in one of the departments, what he will do when he returns home following his recuperation. The youngster answered sadly that his house was destroyed in the bombings and those of his family members who are still alive are residing in the house of a relative who escaped from Syria. He said that he is not in contact with his family members and does not know how they are, but hopes that they are well and is looking forward to reuniting with them once he recovers and returns to Syria.